Best Nintendo Switch games to play right now

Best Switch Games - The Nintendo Switch
(Image credit: Future)

Our list of the best Nintendo Switch games is a collation of the GamesRadar+ team's must-plays. They aren't all Switch exclusives, but they are a joy to play Nintendo's best gaming handheld. We've attempted to make this list of best Switch games as varied as possible too, so hopefully, there's something for everyone to enjoy whether you're a JRPG fan or Super Mario diehard. 

We've got you covered for the future too, with our list of all the upcoming Switch games so you know what to add to your wishlist. If you're here because you're considering a Nintendo Switch OLED purchase, check out all the deals you can get on a Nintendo Switch bundle

Recent updates

Our best Nintendo Switch games list has a new addition in the form of The Cosmic Wheel Sisterhood, which comes in at no.25 and knocks out Pokemon Scarlet and Violet. 

25. The Cosmic Wheel Sisterhood

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The Cosmic Wheel Sisterhood

(Image credit: Devolver Digital)

Release date: August 16, 2023
Developer: Deconstructeam
Publisher: Devolver Digital

Our Cosmic Wheel Sisterhood review

Genre: Adventure

The Cosmic Wheel Sisterhood is a narrative adventure that posits questions around player choice itself. You play as an exiled witch who has designed her own tarot card deck and now does divinations for other witches. You'll face moral dilemmas as you work with them, impactful questions, and other things to consider. It's a beautifully told story with a brilliant card-building element. It's seriously worth playing.

24. Kirby and the Forgotten Land

Kirby and the Forgotten Land

(Image credit: Nintendo)

Release date: March 25, 2022
Developer/Publisher: HAL Laboratory / Nintendo
Our Kirby and the Forgotten Land review

Genre: Platformer / Adventure

Kirby and the Forgotten Land takes you on a memorable adventure packed full of delightful features, challenges, and new standout additions. Taking place in a mysterious world setting that's made up of wonderfully creative stages, every level hides plenty of secrets and eye-catching sights that you'll want to experience for yourself. The platforming is more open, so you can take the time to explore and make the most of the pink puffball's first proper step into the realm of 3D. With boss fights, puzzles, and a variety of foes to take on with Kirby's slate of copy abilities, Forgotten Land also introduces the new Mouthful Mode skill that allows you to become a car, cone, water balloon, and much more besides to progress. And when you want to take a break from the platforming, you can even take a breather at Waddle Dee Town, with mini-games and side activities galore. If you're looking for something to make you smile or brighten up your day, then look no further.

23. Super Mario 3D World + Bowser's Fury

Mario and Bowser Jr running in Super Mario 3D World + Bowser's Fury

(Image credit: Nintendo)

Release date: February 12, 2021
Developer/Publisher: Nintendo
Our Super Mario 3D World + Bowser's Fury review

Genre: Adventure / Platformer

Super Mario 3D World + Bowser's Fury gives you a whole host of Mario fun in one bundle. On the one hand you've got the re-release of the Wii U platformer Super Mario 3D World, which offers a range of inventive platforming levels that you can play through on your own or with up to three friends. It's the game that introduced the Cat Mario power-up and it's wonderfully zany as well as inventive with its worlds. But then you've also got the compact new adventure that is Bowser's Fury. This is more akin to Super Mario Odyssey, and delivers a brand new story to explore and play through as you fight alongside Bowser Jr. to take down Fury Bowser. It takes elements from Super Mario 3D World too, so it's just as loveable too. This is quite the package. 

22. Bayonetta 2

The titular Bayonetta in Bayonetta 2

(Image credit: Nintendo, Sega, Platinum Games)

Release date: February 16, 2018
Developer/Publisher: PlatinumGames / Nintendo
Our Bayonetta 2 review

Genre: Action

Originally released as a Wii U exclusive, Bayonetta 2 has now been re-released on Switch, and it means that you now have no excuses not to play it. Although, when the heroine is a witch with magical hair and (literally) killer stilettos, you won’t really need an excuse not to. This Switch release allows you to experience some of the most action-packed, brutal moments from the last decade of gaming wherever you want. Although it’s a shame the resolution is locked to 720p, even on your TV, it doesn’t detract from the fact it’s a better game than it was on Wii U, even if you look at the major frame rate improvements alone. The game looks stunning regardless, and if you’re an action game fan in the slightest you owe it to yourself to play Bayonetta 2. In fact, when you buy Bayonetta 2 you actually go one better, because you get the original game thrown in for free too. Bargain.

21. Animal Crossing: New Horizons

Animal Crossing: New Horizons

(Image credit: Nintendo)

Release date: March 20, 2020
Developer/Publisher: Nintendo
Our Animal Crossing: New Horizons review
Our
Animal Crossing: New Horizons guide

Genre: Adventure

Not many games offer you the chance to build something that will last an entire console generation, but Animal Crossing: New Horizons does just that. After Nook whisks you away to your very own tropical island - for a fee, of course - it's down to you to build a life there. You'll invite new residents to move to your sandy shores, grow local business, create a community, and craft an island you can all be proud of. Running in line with real-world days, Animal Crossing: New Horizons isn't one to be rushed, but it is the idyllic getaway we all need right now.  

20. Minecraft

Mario and the gang brought to life in Minecraft

Release date: May 11, 2017
Developer/Publisher: Mojang
Our Minecraft review
Our
Minecraft guide

Genre: Building simulation  

Because even if you’ve played it before, Minecraft on Switch means an ultra-portable, buildable delight. You can sit down with a friend to play together on the local network, which is ridiculously simple to set up - just put one of their Joy-Cons on your Switch once your world is loaded up, press +, and hand it back to them. You can also play online if you're not eager to go exploring alone, or try out one of its mini-games: Battle (straightforwards PvP), Tumble (a race that involves shovels or snowballs), or Glide (get to the end of the course asap). A plethora of achievements makes for pleasantly directed playing as they give you something to aim for, but when it comes down to it you never feel like you've quite beaten Minecraft even if you've been playing for tens of hours. It's an exercise in discovery and ambition, with structures that previously only existed in your wildest dreams suddenly viable - as long as you have the resources. Whether you're tenacious, easygoing, or just rabidly curious, think of Minecraft as a gracious host that will make you and anyone you choose to co-op with delirious with happiness. Either that, or you'll get your hands on some TNT and will make everything go bang. Which is also fun. Definitely worthy of its spot on our best Switch games list.

19. Octopath Traveler

A village scene in Octopath Traveller

Release date: July 13, 2018
Developer/Publisher: Square Enix
Our Octopath Traveller review

Genre: JRPG

What Octopath Traveler really excels at is scale. Whereas any other game would put all of its focus onto a single protagonist, Square Enix's JRPG tells the story of eight - yes, eight - heroes, and all of their beautifully told stories are given the same gravitas, which is quite the feat. It's a wonderful collection of stories, told in a world that is inspired by JRPGs of old, particularly in terms of art style, and its combat is some of the best turned-based systems the JRPG world has to offer. If any of this intrigues you, then Octopath Traveler needs to be on your wishlist immediately. Or, preferably, under your thumbs. Get involved with this excellent addition to the best Switch games list. 

18. Stardew Valley

Planting crops in Stardew Valley

Release date: October 5, 2017
Developer/Publisher: ConcernedApe
Our Stardew Valley guide

Genre: Simulation

There's a reason Stardew Valley was one of the most highly anticipated titles coming to the Nintendo Switch and now ranks so highly on this list of best Switch games. This adorable, simple life, farming simulator is the perfect game for taking advantage of the Switch's portability. Farming at home, farming on the go, farming wherever the heck you fancy farming. It's a fantastic game for whiling away the evenings with a spot of farming, mining, animal rearing, fishing and other super relaxed activites. Trust us, you'll soon be as immersed in the world of Stardew as we are.

17. Super Mario RPG

Super Mario RPG remake

(Image credit: Nintendo)

Release date: November 17, 2023
Developer/Publisher
: ArtePiazza / Nintendo
Our Super Mario RPG review

If anyone missed out on playing Super Mario RPG the firs time around, as so many of us did, this remake is well worth investing in. Super Mario RPG is legendary for a reason, and this takes what was epic in the first place, adding tweaks that make it even more engaging. Yes, it's still 90s RPG storytelling, but it's one of the most surprising Mario games of all time because of it. 

16. Hollow Knight

A boss battle in Hollow Knight

Release date: February 24, 2017
Developer/Publisher: Team Cherry

Genre: Platformer

Some are suggesting that Hollow Knight is Dark Souls for beginners. But it's really a Dark Souls with stunning hand-painted aesthetics and a color palette to make you cry, and a stunning orchestral soundtrack that you just want to bathe in. It's one of our best Switch games for a reason folks. In true Metroidvania style, you'll be exploring a labyrinth of underground areas each more distinct than the last, and all filled with strange creatures to fight, and bizarre bugs to befriend. (Yes, really.) As you progress you gain new abilities, grow in power, and more devoted to uncovering all of Hollow Knight's secrets. One of the greatest best Switch games to date.

15. Paper Mario: The Origami King

Climbing a hill in Paper Mario: The Origami King

(Image credit: Nintendo)

Release date: July 17, 2020
Developer/Publisher: Intelligent Systems / Nintendo
Our Paper Mario: The Origami King review

Genre: Action/Strategy

Paper Mario: The Origami King might not be the RPG you'd hope for, but it is special. Nintendo has tapped right into the fun, light-hearted spirit that has always pervaded the Paper Mario series, and also introduced a tonne of new features including a ring-system for battling. It'll have you twisting and turning your enemies into place before whacking them with hammers or stomping them with your boots, while Boss battles see stationary taking a dark turn. Ultimately, this is a fun, light-hearted celebration of Super Mario with a strong story, great humour, and brilliant characters

Legend of Zelda: Link's Awakening key art

(Image credit: Nintendo)

Release date: September 20, 2019
Developer/Publisher: Nintendo
Our Legend of Zelda: Link's Awakening review
Our
Legend of Zelda: Link's Awakening guide

Genre: Adventure

If you want a slice of more classic, dungeon-focused gameplay on the Switch then you need Legend of Zelda: Link's Awakening in your life. It takes the Game Boy Colour game - Link's Awakening DX - and gives it a fresh art style, a chibi-esque toy village vibe that makes this one of the best looking games on Switch – and the most adorable. In that way it manages to feel like a brand new game, while still maintaining the essence and story of the quirky original. Definitely one of the best Switch games right now.

13. Mario + Rabbids: Sparks of Hope

Mario + Rabbids Sparks of Hope

(Image credit: Ubisot)

Release date: October 20, 2022
Developer/Publisher: Ubisoft
Our Mario + Rabbids: Sparks of Hope review

Genre: Strategy

Mario + Rabbids: Sparks of Hope is a strategy game that works incredibly well even if you're not a fan of strategy games. It features brilliant, polished game mechanics that are introduced in stages to let you get to grips with the game's surprisingly deep tactical gameplay. But it mixes that gameplay with real knowledge of the Super Mario universe and wraps it up in a level of detail and graphical quality that you can regularly mistake it for a Nintendo-made title. It's an absolute joy and definitely worth its place on this best Switch games list, especially as it takes what the original game does and adds more freedom, creativity, and further Super Mario-ness.

12. Pikmin 4

Pikmin 4

(Image credit: Nintendo)

Release date: July 21, 2023
Developer/Publisher: Nintendo
Our Pikmin 4 review

Genre: Strategy

Turns out Pikmin's fourth series' entry is also its best. With so many improvements on the classic strategy formula to make it the most approachable ever, it also becomes the most fun. It's a huge game with so much to see - even after the credits roll - and new additions like space-dog Oatchi, ice and glow pikmin, and more make for a really memorable strategy experience. 

11. Luigi's Mansion 3

Luigi pointing his torch in Luigi's Mansion 3

(Image credit: Nintendo)

Release date: October 31, 2019
Developer/Publisher: Nintendo
Our Luigi's Mansion 3 review
Our
Luigi's Mansion 3 guide

Genre: Adventure

Proof that the green plumber can be the star of the show, Luigi's Mansion 3 takes you on a journey full of memorable spooks, creative puzzles, fantastic level design, and charm that oozes from every pore. Oh, and have we talked about Gooigi? Luigi's goo-filled compadre that can slip straight into places the human Luigi just can't? Well, it all combines to find the right balance between new and old, delivering a refreshing spin on the Luigi's Mansion formula and earning its place on this best Switch games list. Newcomers and longtime fans are sure to delight in exploring everything the hotel has to offer. 

10. Xenoblade Chronicles 3

Xenoblade Chronicles 3

(Image credit: Nintendo)

Release date: July 29, 2022
Developer/Publisher: Monolith Soft / Nintendo

Genre: JRPG

If you want a JRPG that's really going to take over your world, you need Xenoblade Chronicles 3. It's easy to sink upwards of 150 hours into this one, thanks to its gargantuan world and the fact it delivers an epic sci-fantasy tale. The combat is the best and most complicated in the series to date, and combined with engrossing systems, there's almost limitless progression on offer here. It's an almost flawless game, and although it isn't perfect, what's here is more than enough to justify any shortcomings.

9. Super Smash Bros. Ultimate

A fight with four players in Super Smash Bros. Ultimate

Release date: December 7, 2018
Developer/Publisher: Bandai Namco / Sora Ltd / Nintendo
Our Super Smash Bros. Ultimate review

Genre: Brawler

Super Smash Bros. Ultimate is pulling out all the stops when it comes to characters. With a whopping 74 characters available to unlock, this is definitely the busiest roster of them all. That total includes 11 brand new characters - and that's before you've even started on the DLC. That means a whole new set of fighters to learn in the heat of battle, but thankfully this is the best Super Smash Bros. title yet, both in terms of its glorious good looks, but also in the way the stages are detailed and animated, fighters move much more naturally and with additional flare, and the KO animations are more satisfying than ever. Plus, there's even a surprisingly meaty single-player story to dive into. This is quite the package. 

8. Pokemon Legends: Arceus

Pokemon Legends Arceus

(Image credit: The Pokemon Company)

Release date: January 28, 2022
Developer/Publisher: Game Freak / The Pokemon Company / Nintendo
Our Pokemon Legends Arceus review

Genre: RPG

Pokemon Legends: Arceus is Game Freak's foray into an open-world Pokemon adventure, and it's achieved something quite special. The game takes us back in time to a point in time where the Sinnoh region is known as the Hisui region. There are no cities, no Pokemon Gyms, no trainers, just a quest to figure out what's going on in the region, and build the locale's very first Pokedex. You'll catch, battle, and train up wild Pokemon you meet in the overworld, and work with them and the brilliant humans you'll meet to solve quite the mystery. It's an excellent new direction for the series and a refreshingly different approach to the core mechanics. 

7. Fire Emblem: Three Houses

Fire Emblem: Three Houses

(Image credit: Nintendo)

Release date: July 26, 2019
Developer/Publisher: Intelligent Systems / Koei Tecmo / Nintendo
Our Fire Emblem: Three Houses review

Genre: Adventure / Strategy

The future of Fódlan rests on the decisions that you make, and that alone serves as quite the selling point. But, in all seriousness, if you're already a fan of the series, Fire Emblem: Three Houses this is the best to date. It realises a new, more meaningful direction for the series where stories are prioritised over combat. The challenging, tight, turn-based combat is still there, of course, but it's not all that Fire Emblem is anymore. This is an epic evolution for the series. 

6. Mario Kart 8 Deluxe

Mario Kart 8 Deluxe key art

Release date: April 28, 2017
Developer/Publisher: Nintendo
Our Mario Kart 8 Deluxe review

Genre: Racing

Apart from the telling clue in the line above, the Nintendo experience isn't complete until you've enraged your closest friends by beating them at Mario Kart 8 Deluxe. It's a rite of passage on every Nintendo console. This immediate, relatable, pick-up-and-play fun is exactly what the Switch was created for. Up to eight people can locally, letting you pretend that you're in a Nintendo lifestyle advert, and it's a novelty that two people can play anywhere using a single console. But best of all, this is the ultimate version of an already amazing game, and perhaps the clearest and brilliant example of how great the Switch could be. 

5. Splatoon 3

Splatoon 3 Inkopolis

(Image credit: Nintendo)

Release date: September 8, 2022
Developer/Publisher: Nintendo
Our Splatoon 3 review

Genre: Third-person shooter

As the title might suggest, Splatoon 3 is the third entry in Nintendo's zany multiplayer shooter. It manages to walk the line between being family-friendly by using ink blasters and rollers instead of guns and being a really strong competitive title. It's wonderfully fast-paced at all times, and offers a compelling single-player campaign to complement its multiplayer. 

4. Super Mario Wonder

Super Mario Bros. Wonder

(Image credit: Nintendo)

Release date: October 20, 2023
Developer: Nintendo Planning and Development
Publisher: Nintendo
Our Super Mario Bros. Wonder review

Who knew it was possible to reinvent the 2D Mario platformer in 2023, but by Jove they've done it. Super Mario Bros. Wonder uses the titular Wonder Flowers to mix up the levels in continually unexpected ways, surprisingly and delighting with every discovery. New power ups are inventive and creative, and the attention to detail here means it's not a Mario adventure worth missing.

3. The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild

Zelda looking scared in The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild

Release date: March 3, 2017
Developer/Publisher: Nintendo
Our The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild review
Our
The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild guide

Genre: Action RPG

Breath of the Wild takes ideas originally introduced in the first Legend of Zelda game along with concepts expanded on by Skyrim and other modern open-world RPGs and Nintendoizes them, distilling them into purest parts, and polishes the hell out of them. It's a world of wonder and it actually lets you experience that wonder without beating you over the head with hours of tutorials and incessant text boxes re-explaining everything you already know. Playing it on the TV is a treat, but being able to lift the Switch from the dock and take a game of this size and scope wherever you want is a perfect summation of the Switch's potential.

2. Super Mario Odyssey

Mario and Cappy in Super Mario Odyssey

Release date: October 27, 2017
Developer/Publisher: Nintendo
Our Super Mario Odyssey review
Our
Super Mario Odyssey guide

Genre: Adventure

Thanks to Mario's new friend Cappy, Super Mario Odyssey manages to successfully bring the series up to date by gifting Mario a ton of new moves. And by moving out of the Mushroom Kingdom, Mario feels fresh and new while still retaining every ounce of its nostalgia and retro charm - there are still ground pounds and green pipes don't worry. This is very much Mario as his best self so far, and his latest adventure looks absolutely beautiful on the Switch. 

1. Legend of Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom

The Legend of Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom screenshot

(Image credit: Nintendo)

Release date: May 12, 2023
Developer/Publisher: Nintendo
Our Legend of Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom review
Our
Legend of Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom guide

Genre: Adventure

First there was Breath of the Wild, but now there's The Legend of Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom. This is, perhaps more than anything, the biggest showpiece for what the Nintendo Switch can do - even more so than its predecessor did. It's a game about creativity, officially giving players the tools they need to fuse and bind together objects to conjure up new weapons, vehicles, and other inspired devices for solving puzzles or taking down another Bokoblin troupe. It's Hyrule again, but bigger, vaster, and somehow filled with even more secrets. It's a genuine joy, and 100% worth the wait.

Sam Loveridge
Global Editor-in-Chief, GamesRadar+

Sam Loveridge is the Global Editor-in-Chief of GamesRadar, and joined the team in August 2017. Sam came to GamesRadar after working at TrustedReviews, Digital Spy, and Fandom, following the completion of an MA in Journalism. In her time, she's also had appearances on The Guardian, BBC, and more. Her experience has seen her cover console and PC games, along with gaming hardware, for a decade, and for GamesRadar, she's in charge of the site's overall direction, managing the team, and making sure it's the best it can be. Her gaming passions lie with weird simulation games, big open-world RPGs, and beautifully crafted indies. She plays across all platforms, and specializes in titles like Pokemon, Assassin's Creed, The Sims, and more. Basically, she loves all games that aren't sports or fighting titles! In her spare time, Sam likes to live like Stardew Valley by cooking and baking, growing vegetables, and enjoying life in the countryside.

With contributions from